Facts, Figures & FAQs

Farming supports local families:

 nearly 1 in 5 households relies on income related to agriculture which supports 76,000 job

Farming supports the local economy:

 In addition to crops produced, where Agriculture contributes over $3.9 billion per year to Monterey County’s economic output, with a total estimated impact of over $11.7 billion on the local economy.

Monterey County feeds our Nation: crops grown in Monterey County supply large percentages of total national pounds produced each year:  61% of leaf lettuce, 57% of celery, 56% of head lettuce, 48% of broccoli, 38% of spinach, 30% of cauliflower, 28% of strawberries, and 3.6% of wine grapes.

Farming provides a healthy local food supply: Monterey County farmers are among the most productive and efficient in the world, growing more than 150 crops.

Farmers care about our natural resources: 

irrigation water use has decreased by 17% in the past two decades due to irrigation efficiency practices and new technology, while increasing crop production values by 45%.

We are a local voice for agriculture: Monterey County Farm Bureau has been working to sustain local food and farmers since 1917. 

Farming shapes the local landscape: for every acre of buildings and pavement in Monterey County there are four acres of strawberries, lettuce, grapes, and other crops.

Farming supports local communities: Agriculture generates tax revenues for Monterey County supporting services that enhance everyone’s quality of life.



What are the Top Crops Produced in Monterey County?

Strawberries, Leaf Lettuce, Head Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Nursery & Flowers, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, and Livestock & Poultry.

How many acres produce crops in Monterey County?

267,873 acres in current production including vineyards, plus over 1 million acres of rangeland

How many acres of crop production utilize time clocks to maintain irrigation applications?

153,715 acres utilize time clocks and pressure switches to maintain schedules

What is the total pounds of crops exported from the Salinas Valley region?

371,262,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables are exported to other countries

Which crop increased production values the most in the past 5 years?

Strawberries increased in value by $26% over 2019 production

How much of crop production on irrigated lands are using drip irrigation tape?

Approx. 72% of crops utilize water-conserving drip irrigation tape as their main delivery method for irrigation

How many acres of crop production are in organic products?

132,809 acres, increase of 34% year-to-year, with gross sales of $757,887,000

What crops are the leaders in exported fruits and vegetables?

Lettuce, Strawberries, Celery, Boccoli, and Cauliflower

What are Monterey County's largest trading partners, internationally?

Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Europen Union, and UAE

Fast Facts About U.S. Farms

  • 2 million farms dot America’s rural landscape. About 98% of U.S. farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations.
  • Farm and ranch families comprise less than 2% of the U.S. population.
  • About 11% of U.S. farmers are serving or have served in the military.
  • 87% of U.S. ag products sold are produced on family farms or ranches.
  • Farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents.
  • 25% of all farmers are beginning farmers (in business less than 10 years); their average age is 46.
  • The number of farm operators of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin is higher than ever, up 13% to 112,451. There also are more African American (45,508, up 2%) farm operators.
  • Independence Day is the top food holiday in the U.S. Americans spend $6.9 billion on July 4th cookouts each year.
  • In 2018, $139.6 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance.
  • More than half of America’s farmers intentionally provide habitat for wildlife. Deer, moose, fowl and other species have shown significant population increases for decades.
  • Careful stewardship by America’s food producers has spurred a 34% decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982.
  • Americans throw away an estimated 25% of the food they bring home every month and a whopping 40% of all food grown and produced in the U.S. is never eaten.

Courtesy of American Farm Bureau Foundation